Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Old Dog hasn’t seen much footy and when he does, after six months and four rounds, he’s blown away.

Once a Tiger

Matt Zurbo wishes the Almanac community a happy Christmas. His gift is a transcript of his interview with Ron Branton, which captures the life of a 1950s footballer superbly. Sections of this interview appear in Matt’s book Champions All.

Local Footy and Mighty Wallpaper

Matt Zurbo is the subject of Martin Flanagan’s column in The Age today. Here is a piece he wrote in July 2012.

Off Season Odyssey – Part 42: South or West

The road is a hungry thing, calling, even when it’s made of nothing but sand.

[This piece was first published in late 2012. It was part of a series where Old Dog jumped in the ute and travelled from the south of Tasmania to far north Queensland and west to the Mallee in South Australia. Read more of Matt’s pieces by clicking on his name in the left sidebar.]

Local Footy: The club where Blunnies mattered

Matt Zurbo’s first footy club (many years ago) was a suburban club where the blokes worked hard and played hard. Young Matt Zurbo was made welcome because of his Blundstone boots. Not footy boots. His work boots.

The Unconformity Cup – Nowhere Footy

Old Dog goes to Queenstown where he plays a fun (but proper) footy match on the famous gravel oval during the Unconformity Festival. [This is an Old Dog special – JTH]

Almanac Books: Champions All extract – 1976 Grand Final

Continuing our highlights from Old Dog’s book, Champions All, an excerpt featuring the 1976 Grand Final.

Almanac Books: Champions All extract – 1970 Grand Final

Continuing our highlights from Old Dog’s book, Champions All, an excerpt featuring the 1970 Grand Final.

Grand Final 2016 – Sydney v Western Bulldogs: Let’s Talk About Love

Old Dog, with his brilliant analysis, the Grand Final and the Doggies win made the world seem like a better place.

Almanac Books: Champions All extract – Ian Paton The Club Soldier

Continuing our highlights from Old Dog’s book, Champions All, an excerpt from the Chapter: The Club Soldier, Ian Paton, Hawthorn.

Almanac Books: Champions All extract – Mick Martyn on what happened in Bali

Continuing our highlights from Old Dog’s book, Champions All, leading up to the Grand Final. Mick Martyn on what happened at Bali.

Sound. (or This is still Australia: they’re utes not trucks)

Matt Zurbo thinks his way through some recent footy moments – life moments – and listens for the sounds, and observes the silences.

Almanac Local Footy: Small Time

With his book completed and footy season at a close, Matt Zurbo keeps his AFL watching to one game a week.

Round 13 – North Melbourne v Hawthorn: You open your mouth one week

Old Dog watches Friday night footy and has some observations about physicality, umpiring, electric energy and bar crowds.

Round 12 – Greater Western Sydney v Sydney: Giant Swan Dicks

Old Dog is in a Melbourne pub with his girlfriend. He’s impressed with the Giants but less impressed with how self-absorbed footy fans are in the city. [Interesting life and footy observations – Ed]

Almanac Umpiring: A Tough Gig

Matt Zurbo loves it when umpires come across as real and genuine. [And he’s inviting them to pop in for a beer – Ed]

Everyday Obits: Foundation Blokes

Bryan, a mate of Matt Zurbo’s, died in an accident the other day. He was a great fella as Old Dog explains in this tribute.

A Footy Season Greeting from The Old Dog

The Old Dog finds Christmas in March, with a pre-season message for everyone.

Training for Six

Matt Zurbo continues his training series – Training for 6

Training for Six: When four turn up!

Another skillful set of training drills from the master trainer Matt Zurbo.